Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tip for April 29, 2010; The Terrible 'Was', and the Prepositional Ending

This post is mostly all about the 'was' and how to get rid of it. I'll tell you about the prepositions in a minute.

I was editing along today on my novel (the first one), when I suddenly spotted 'was'. Seven times... In my prologue alone. As you might imagine, I was horrified. How had the Wases infiltrated my precious refuge?

It's easy to use them. In fact, I used it unknowingly just a few seconds ago. See? 'I was horrified'. It even infiltrates the blog!

I took out the sword of 'delete', and struck at the enemy. To my astonishment, it showed up in the improved sentence. Here's how it happened;

The sentence, 'His plan was in effect, and there would soon be no one able to stop him.' was the one I was trying to fix. The typical doom and destruction from a villain. Anyway, I tried changing it to this; 'His plan was now being put into action, and there would be no one to stop him.' I sat back, pleased. Until I spotted the 'was' again. How did that get in there? So I changed it. ' His plans would soon be fufilled, and then there would be no one to stop him from acheiving his goal; the throne.'

Not only did I defeat the Was, but I also added clarity to the sentence. And it sounds much more sinister.

I proceeded to destroy five other Wases in quick succession. But then I came to one sentence that stumped me and left me frustrated and speechless.

'The night watchman was asleep by a table, a drugged ale by his hand, oblivious that a terrible thing was about to happen.' In all respects, it sounded fine. But it was 'showing'. You know the writing phrase; "Show, don't tell." When I use Was, it's telling. I need to 'show'.

Back to the sentence. I couldn't think of anything to replace it. I toyed with 'The night watchman was oblivious to the terrible thing about to happen; he was asleep, with a drugged ale in his hand.', but it used Was again.

Finally, I managed rewrote the entire paragraph, turning it into the following;

"They reached the palace doors, and the man noiselessly let the in others. The night watchman lay fast asleep at the small table, a drugged ale by his hand. His face rested on the rough wood, his eyes closed, oblivious to the terrible thing about to happen."

Wonderful. And it 'shows' a little better.

Anyway, to the prepositions.

One of the common mistakes in writing is ending in a preposition; in, of, to, before, etc.

'He let the men in.'

It's really quite simple to solve, though. Simply take the preposition, and put it in somewhere else.

'He let in the men.'

One of the reasons I posted on prepositions is that I first learned of this mistake through one of Donita K. Paul's books; The Vanishing Sculptor.

Wizard Fenworth was arguing with Librettowit (again), and Librettowit ended in a preposition on one of his sentences. Of course, Fenworth had to correct him... Anyway, that was rather random. :)

If you haven't voted on the 'What should I post next?' poll, please do. There's a three way tie going on, and I need someone to break it. :D

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Question for Readers

Okay, so I've been having a bit of trouble with my novel. Two things, actually.

One; I am starting to run out of things to edit, revise, and rewrite in my first novel. I know there's mistakes lurking in there, and there's a lot of things I need to polish if only I can figure out a way to do it.

Two; My novel is short. Too short The previous paragraph is related to this, as I'm getting a lot of my length from my rewriting. I'm sure I can add several plot revisions somewhere- if only I could figure out how.

See the pattern? So my question to you, readers (those that write), is (you've guess it); How do you handle things like this? Some of you may not have the length problem, but I'm sure most of you have had trouble with finding the elusive mistakes.

So again;

How do you deal with stuff on the problems of length and revision? Or how do you do revision, editing, and rewriting in the first place? Comment or email me for an answer. I'd appreciate the help.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sister's Birthday

Happy Birthday, sis! And many more.

I'd post her blog on here, but it's private. :) Sorry.

Monday, April 26, 2010


For some time, I have had the same poll up; "Which of these are your MOST favorite fantasy author?" Here's the current scores (27 votes!);

'How in the world do you expect me to PICK?!?!' is still hanging in there with a reduced percentage of 40%.

'Bryan Davis' has shot ahead, and is now tied with 'C. S. Lewis' with 18% respectively.

'Wayne Thomas Batson' is still in third with 14%.

'J. R. R. Tolkien' has finally gotten another vote, and now has 7%.

And still in last with no votes are 'Brian Jacques' and 'Christopher Hopper'.

I have decided to put another poll in, though, with this question; "What would you like for me to blog about next?" All of the answers but one are a 'series'. In other words, there will be more than one post on it.

Once the poll is closed, I'll do those suggestions in order of greatest votes to least votes. Here's the possible answers;

"A segmented short story" (The idea was politely pilfered from Storyteller, although it's not allegorical) :)
"Ten posts on my top ten favorite books"
"An investigation on what makes a fantasy world awesome"
"A chapter excerpt from my novel"

I can't think of any more, but if you can, then please comment and tell me. Please don't suggest a series on good characters, though; Squeaks is planning on doing it. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Big Picture; Movie Adaption vs. The Books

Yesterday night, I watched a movie; Eragon. I spent the entire movie glaring at the screen. Why? They made such ATROCIOUS changes to the plot, the characters looked all wrong, the-... Well, you get my point.

I'm going to use Eragon as an example, but this will be just an example for all movies and books. Of course, each movie/book pair has differences, but I hope this gives you the general idea.

Anyway, I'll try to stay even-handed in this post, but please note that I am extremely opposed to the view that the movies could even be better than the books.

Round One;

~Eragon Movie VS Eragon Book~

The Pros and the Cons of Books;


-Sometimes, the writing is worth more than a thousand pictures. Or movies. Christopher Paolini's vivid writing and description make the book come alive. And that, in my opinion, is better than a movie.

-In books, one literally knows the character's thoughts, completely. This is another pro that I think trumps the movie again. Although the person watching 'Eragon' can hear Eragon's thoughts when he talks to Saphira, you really don't get inside his head.

-The story is much longer in the book; 500 pages of action. And they just can't get 500 pages to fit into an hour and a half of film.

-Much better character development. In the movie, I didn't care a whole lot about Eragon. I actually cared a lot more about his dragon, Saphira. But some of the other minor good guy (or gal) characters came across terribly. Murtagh, Brom, Arya, etc; I didn't care one bit if they fell of a cliff and drowned. And in the book, Brom isn't half as rude as he comes across in the movie. In fact, Eragon and Brom were very good friends in the book (even more, as I later find out in Brisingr, the third book of the series).

-Books are very rereadable (I've reread Eragon 17 times!).


-In a book, you can't see the story. In your mind's eye, of course, but physically, no.

-For many people, books simply can't hold their attention long enough.

-There are many small details that plenty of people call 'fluff'; stuffing to make the book longer.

Pros and Cons of Movies;


-You can actually see movies. It is made from real, actual people, and so some people may argue that the characters are much easier to relate to.

-They are much easier to watch than it is to read. Even I sometimes put down a book to watch a movie.

-They are short. This may be a pro, or it may be a con, depending on your point of view. If it's short, it'll be much easier to convince your parents to let you watch it quick, right? But if it's short, it might leave out some of the principal plot details. Your call.

-With today's precise technology, the movie itself is extremely vivid and realistic.

-Much of the action is simply amazing. I found myself holding my breath once during the movie.


Much of the things that were pros for the book are cons for the movie;

-Lack of character development

-Except for brief instances, you cannot hear Eragon's thoughts.

-I, for one, am not a fan of watching movies over and over. Once I've seen a movie, I might not see it again for a year or more.

And some original thoughts;

-The characters are not how I pictured them. Eragon and Arya were the only ones that looked as I thought they might, but even they had flaws. For two examples, Arya doesn't even have pointed ears (she's an elf), and Eragon, in the movie, claims he's seventeen. In the book, he turns sixteen halfway through. Brom, the Urgals, the dwarves, and Tronjheim, the mountain city, were a letdown. The Urgals were supposed be seven feet tall, and to have long, long horns, but they looked like dressed up men.

-Some of the parts of the movie were just embarrassing and lame. Not only was one quote not even in the book ("One part brave, three parts fool"), it was said three or four times. It became rather boring.

[Note; this next part will be hard to understand unless you have read the book]

-The inconsistancy with the book was outrageous and disappointing. The movie makers even made three, no four huge plot points go completely wrong; (spoilers) The killing of the Raz'ac, which doesn't happen in the book; Ajihad, the leader of the Varden, is supposed to be killed after the Battle of Farthen Dur; Roran joining the army. This did not happen in the book, and later, Roran's presence in Carvahall is essential for the plot; and finally, the most atrocious; the leaving of Arya to Ellesmera (Eragon is supposed to go with her and meet Oromis, an old Dragon Rider in hiding). You have no idea what a huge plot strand this is unless you have read the book. Eragon shouldn't be called Eragon unless this was corrected. Eragon becomes a real Rider because of Oromis.


And now my rant is over. As you can see, I clearly think that the movie is terrible, especially compared to the book. Terrible. :)

But it's your call, ultimately. What's your opinion on it? Not only this movie, but book adaptions in general (Lord of the Rings, etc.)?

I'd love to hear your opinion.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

HUGE Online Book Release PARTY!!

Did your heart skip a beat when you read the word PARTY? Perhaps GIVEAWAY would've been better, but BOTH are happening for the party release of Kestrel's Midnight Song, new author Jacob R. Parker's first book.

Here's what's happening;
  • There's going to be GIVEAWAYS. Lots of giveaways. Hundreds of books in pristine condition being literally GIVEN AWAY.

  • Price REDUCTION on his book. Cutting $6 off the original list price!

  • CHAT with the author himself.

  • And watching Kestrel's Midnight Song shoot up to the top of the Amazon bestseller list as people all preoder Kestrel's Midnight Song at the same TIME... Where MORE people can see it! :)

For plenty of more details, you can check out Jacob's blog or his website.

As you can see, this is going to be AWESOME. All books preordered at the Party will be SIGNED!


I can't wait, and I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good New Books Coming Out This Year!

And all are in the Christian fantasy genre.

Okay, here it goes;

Venom and Song, by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.

Now in the strange realm of Allyra, the Seven young lords confront a traitor in their midst, a creature-infested forest, teenage fears and doubts, inexplicable mysteries . . . and the Spider King himself. [Taken from]

My thoughts; The previous book was excellent, and I am looking forward to reading this. And take a look at the cover art! Don't judge a book by it's cover, but it sure helps...

I'm hoping to get it through the contest going on at WTB's blog, but it's been going on for three weeks now... Ah, well.

Dragons of the Valley, by Donita K. Paul.

[No Description available]

My thoughts; Donita K. Paul and dragons. Together, they form a potent force. And I'm sure this'll come true in Dragons of the Valley.

The previous book in the new Chiril Chronicles series was one of Donita K. Paul's best, even though it didn't have as much to do with dragons as the DragonKeeper Chronicles. But I saw the title and thought, "Ah! There we go. She's getting back to dragons."

And the title has a lot of mystery. What dragons? What valley? Why does this affect the book?

Look at the cover art! Just plain awesome.

Tense Confusion

When I say, 'tense', I'm meaning present tense and past tense, '-ed' and '-s', you know?

The reason I called this post Tense Confusion is because I've been having trouble with it. Like whether or not to use it.

Oh, I've decided to use past tense all right, not only because other writers do it, but because I feel more comfortable doing it. But for some reason, I'm still arguing with myself.

Voice 1; "But present tense sounds more epic!"
Voice 2; "It's harder to read."
Voice 1; "It is not."
Voice 2; "Yes, it is."
Voice 1; "Is not!"
Voice 2; "Is too!"
Voice 1; "Is not! Plus, it sounds epic."
Voice 2; "You already said that."
Voice 1; "I know, it's important."
Voice 3; "Aw, just be quiet. We're using past tense, and that's that!"

And so it goes. I finally decided to use past tense, for the reasons named above, but I couldn't resist dabbling a bit with present tense in my prologue.

When I have finished the scene, I went back to past tense, and for the next page, I unknowingly mixed present and past tense.

I ended up editing the entire thing back into past tense.

The lesson here? Use only one tense when writing a story. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tip for April 19, 2010; How to Make an Evil Villain, Part 3

This should be my last post on villains. But I can't guarantee it. :)

Besides the making of villains, there are types of villains you can make. Here's most of the common ones;

Main villain(s); The villain that is the ultimate enemy for the main character. The Nameless Evil named Gnag in the Wingfeather Saga is an example. These villains are in both stand-alone novels and series of any length. They have all of the traits and more that I described in my previous posts.

Temporary Villains; These are villains that are in a series, but aren't the main villain. They usually represent the main villain, but the main villain doesn't actually come into play.

To continue the Wingfeather Saga theme, in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, the temporary villain is one of the lesser Fang officers. In North! Or be Eaten, the next book, the evil guy is another officer, but this one reports directly to Gnag the Nameless. But through all of these books, Gnag is still the main villain, but he doesn't come into play.

Lesser Villains; These are evil people that are usually allied with the main villain. Thorne's lieutenant, Chillevard (I think I spelled it wrong), is a lesser villain. In Isle of Fire, Edward Teach is a mate on Thorne's ship. Thorne is still the main villain, but Teach is a villain too. There's usually only a couple of these.

And, of course, there are a large assortment of evil characters not usually described as 'villains'. Spies, traitors, crew members, soldiers, etc.

Besides this, there's a few more things needed to consider when making a villain. One of which is, how far are you going to go?

I described, in making a chilling villain, about the villain's acts. But I don't necessarily need to describe the acts in any great detail. Like the amount of good and bad in a villain, the detail needs to be very delicately handled. Too much, and it'll make your readers want to stop reading. Too little, and the horror of it won't have the desired effect. But ultimately, it's up to you and God. Pray about it.

Okay, I think I'm done. If you have any more ideas or topics to address about villains, feel free to comment. I might even make another post! :)

***Oh, and here's an update on the poll on the sidebar (20 votes);

'How in the world do you expect me to PICK!?!?!' is still surging ahead with nearly half the votes, 45%.

'C. S. Lewis' is determinedly trailing behind with 20%.

'Bryan Davis' and 'Wayne Thomas Batson' are tied with 15% respectively.

'J. R. R. Tolkien' is falling behind with 5% of the votes.

And finally, 'Christopher Hopper' and 'Brian Jacques' are still in last with 0%.

Review; Starlighter

Dragons are enslaving humankind and a black egg signals the end of the world. Jason Masters must journey to another realm and join forces with a slave girl named Koren to rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction. What if the Legends Are True? Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons' realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered. In Starlighter, bestselling author Bryan Davis masterfully weaves fantasy and inspiration into a captivating novel for young adults. (From the back cover)

I expected a great book from Bryan Davis. And he, more or less, delivered.

As I have seen other people say, the actual writing and dialogue are excellent, superb. It sucks you into the story and doensn't let you go. However, there were a few cons to this book;

  • The dragons are evil (except for one who seems to linger halfway), unlike the Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire series. It was a little disappointing, but Davis manages to pull it off.
  • Little character development. I wish the characters would have developed more. With an exception of Tibber the Fibber, I didn't really connect with them. I hope this is made up for in the next book.
  • ?Plot length? I don't know, but it seemed that this book went by too fast. I wish there were a little bit more plot to the story... I can't really find something against it, but it seemed like there was something missing.
  • The descriptions were a little lacking. This part will be fine for those who are slower readers, but for myself, I prefer a lot of description.

Other than these, the book was very well written and thought out. I especially liked the concept of the Starlighter. Very imaginative.

Magnar was satisfyingly evil, as was the black egg, if not more so.

There are some Christianity roots in here that I also hope will expand more in the next book, especially about the rescuing of the Lost Ones.

All in all, I rate Starlighter as 8.5 out of 10. Not Bryan Davis's best, but not his worst. Compared to other books, though, it is excellent. I'll be eagerly looking out for his next book in the Dragons of Starlight series.


I was looking over this post, and it seemed like I didn't quite expand enough on the good stuff. :P That's human nature, after all; we're pessimistic. :D

But I really enjoyed this book, although it did seem a little incomplete, since it's the first book in a series. I still rate it 8.5 out of 10 (which is a good rating, if you think about it). :D

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tip for April 15, 2010; How to Make an Evil Villain, Part 2

It seems like the more I investigate about well-done evil villains, the more I find out, and the more questions I have. One thing I know for sure; it takes a lot of skill and determination to pull off a villain that is more than second-rate.

Sure, it's easy to make a so-so evil guy. Just follow some of the rules from my previous post, and it's fine. But to make an evil villain that is so chilling that it makes your hair stand on end... that takes a lot of work.

Here's a couple more things you can do;

One; Take a look at your favorite villains. Bartholomew Thorne, Paragor, etc. What makes them so terrible? Try to write a couple of short short stories with a character based on that person. Then, as you get a feel for it, try producing some of that evilness to the villain in a story. It just might help.

Two; The character's looks. I mean, if the villain is rather fat with baby blue eyes, it probably won't inspire fear in the reader. And if it inspires fear in the good guys, the reader will roll his or her eyes and think the good guy is a pushover. My own villain has what I describe as 'a cruel face'. But just because the character is evil doesn't mean it can't look innocent. One very well done villain is from Brian Jacques's Redwall book Salamandastron, Ferahgo the Assasin. He is rather innocent-looking and handsome, with sky-blue eyes. But what's so chilling is that when he smiles his dazzling smile, someone is going to die. Literally.

Three; The character's attitude. In the Redwall books, most of Brian Jacques villains are cowards pleading for their lives when they are defeated. But wouldn't it be truly chilling if the villain had a total lack of terror? Besides that, there are other attitudes; nastiness, cruelty, etc. It would probably help if the villain was particularly known for a certain trait, like cruelty.

These are some of the more minor things, but a villain mapped out to the utmost detail will be a villain indeed. Combined with the major stuff, the villain will definitely be a potent weapon.

One more thing; A fellow named Archer commented on my previous post with this question; "How do make it clear that the villain cannot be turned back to goodness?" [Since there should be both good and bad in a villain].

In a comment, I replied, "In my opinion, there's always a chance for redemption from evil, no matter how high up you are in the chain. Kearn in The Door Within Trilogy is a good example of an evil character turned good.

"But as for making it clear that the character WON'T be turned... Hm. You could have the main good character assume that he/she cannot be turned, but, of course, as you said, there is an option. You don't necessarily need for the character to recognize that there is a possibility of the villain being turned."

In this post, while I'm talking about villains, I'd thought I'd explore this question further. And the problem is, when making a villain, you must be excruciatingly precise. If you have too much good, then the reader will wonder if the villain can be turned. If there is too little, the villain will not have the desired 'human' effect. If you successfully balance the good and bad, then the villain will be memorably chilling.

It doesn't take a good author to make a villain. But it takes an excellent one to make a memorable, evil villain, one people will use when making posts such as these. :)

I just recieved Starlighter, Bryan Davis's new book, and I'm looking forward to reading it! I'll post a review once I'm done. From what I hear, it's sure to be a page turner, as usual. :)

Review; The Word Unleashed

Well, I said I'd get to it! Here it goes:

Baden's book won't leave him alone. He'd like nothing more than to get rid of the Bible he found in the wreckage of a derelict starship. It's brought trouble - the secret police are closing in on him. He's fighting more with his father. And he fears that Gail may be falling under the book's spell. But he can't seem to let it go. Now he's sharing what he's read with believers who have awaited the return of God's Word for decades. His mysterious rescuer, Jason, wants the Bible taken to a safe place. So now it's his choice. He can hide it, or proclaim it.

With Kesek in control of the Realm and coming after all its opponents, Baden will have to trust not only in his friends but in a contingent of elite soldiers determined to save the king. He'll have to come to grips with the power he has unleashed on the Realm of Five. And that power has plans of its own. (Description taken from

Wow. I can't say enough good things about this book. It was a worthy addition to the Face of the Deep series, and it was just amazing.

The plot was brilliant. The action never stopped, and I found myself holding my breath several times as the story neared the end. From space battles to the kidnapping of the king; this book had it. Steve Rzasa pulled it off wonderfully.

I personally couldn't imagine a world- er, worlds- without a Bible. It was just amazing to follow Baden as he finds out what kind of power he's really unleashed across the worlds... the Bible.

Really, I'm rather at a loss for words. A race to earth, the mystery of Alexandria... and the Word unleashed. Rated 9.2 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tip for April 14, 2010; How to Make an Evil Villain- and Author Tidbits

In pretty much every fantasy book, there is an evil character. That character is essential for a book.

But how do I make a character evil and chilling enough? There are several ways.

One; Make your character human. This is probably the most important of all three. He can't be just evil all the way through; there must be a mixture of good and bad. Of course, the bad must outweigh the good in order for the character to be evil, but if the character has real human desires and goals, it will make the character all the more chilling. He can't just be evil all the time.

Two; Use his/her actions. If his/her actions are enough to cause the reader to glare at the book, then you've succeeded. My sisters seem to be constantly watching the old Little House on the Prairie TV series on DVD, and one of my least favorite characters is Nellie Oleson. It's a terrible example, but she is just so annoying and mean that you get really disgusted. Now, you don't want an evil character to be annoying, but evil. Make the character do something unspeakable. Another good example is from the Door Within Trilogy. In it, Paragal (later Paragor) betrays the King, and offers the lives of the Elder Guard's families for the King's life. The King agrees, and after the deed is done, Paragal turns back on the agreement and burns the Elder Guards' families alive. Paragor is a very well-done evil character, one of the best I've ever read, and this example really helps show how evil he really is.

Third; Use his/her words. Taunting, threatening, and just insulting are all ways the villain can show his/her evilness. It makes the reader dislike him/her, and helps pave the way for the other ways the character can be shown as evil.

And on a side note; Names for evil characters are important. Do you think the reader will think the villain evil if his/her name is Pansy? No. Paragor: Now that's an evil name. Gs in the middle make for good, evil names.

So for those who want something to remember instead of just tediously reading the entire thing, there's three main points on how to make an evil villain; 1) Make the Character Human, 2) Use the Character's actions, and 3) Use the Character's words. There are other ways, too, but these are some of the really good ones.

And for the latter part of the title, I found a couple interesting tidbits about Daniel Defore that I thought I'd share.

Two things on Daniel Defoe; He has written perhaps more books, pamphlets, etc. than anyone else that has ever lived. That's a lot. And he initially recieved 100 pounds for Robinson Crusoe when submitting it and never received more money for it. It is now one of the most bestselling books of all time.

I'm still keeping a close eye on the poll , but I think my initial flash of visitors has died down. Here's an update on it (15 votes);

'How in the world do you expect me to PICK?!?!?' is still in first with 40%.

'C. S. Lewis' is close behind 26%.

'Wayne Thomas Batson' and 'Bryan Davis' are still tied for third with 13% each.

'J. R. R. Tolkien' is next with 6%.

'Christopher Hopper' and 'Brian Jacques' are in last with zero votes.

If you haven't voted yet, please do!

I'll be posting my review of The Word Unleashed soon, so keep on checking back.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tidbits of News

Hey, I hope everybody doesn't mind if I blog a lot. After all, I have a lot to say. :)

~First of all, for those who may not know, there's a short story contest in honor of C. S. Lewis going on at the Pen and the Parchment. I encourage you to check it out.

~Secondly, I'm coming up on a difficult question on my novel; Where to next? Once I finish this novel, that'll end my trilogy that has been almost three years in the making.

But that's not the question of "What am I going to write?", but rather, "Which of these am I going to write?"

What is the 'these' I'm referring to? Right now, next in line for my writing attention, are two ideas. Both take place in the same world as my trilogy, but one is a prequel, and one is a sequel. Whichever one I pick, I'll do the other eventually, though. The problem is, both of them are some of my best ideas yet, better then the trilogy that I'm finishing up.

The sequel is the beginning of a series, and the prequel is just a novel, with nothing else planned afterward.

Here's what's making the choice difficult; If I do the sequel, it will take some time to finish a series. After all, the trilogy I'm working on has taken almost three years. If I do the prequel, I should be able to finish it fairly quickly (at least by my standards) and move onto the sequel.

In a comment on Wayne Thomas Batson's blog not too long ago, I said, 'All of the books in my trilogy were to prepare the way for the next book, which I consider my greatest work and my ultimate goal.' Wouldn't a prequel for the trilogy add yet more background? I keep asking myself. And I'm not sure.

So that's the lay of the land. What do you think?

~Third and lastly, I'm paying rather close attention to the poll on the sidebar. It's getting quite interesting. Thirteen people have voted as of now for the question, "Which of these is your MOST favorite fantasy author?" I find that question hard to answer as well. :)

Here's how the scores are;

'How in the world do you expect me to PICK?!?!?' is leading with 38% of the votes.

'C. S. Lewis' is next in line with 23%.

'Bryan Davis' and 'Wayne Thomas Batson' are tied for third as of now with 15% each.

'J. R. R. Tolkien' is trailing behind with 7%,

And lastly, 'Christopher Hopper' and 'Brian Jacques' are bringing up the rear with no votes.

I'll be looking forward to see what happens next! And I'm not telling how I voted myself until the poll is over.

I hope I didn't bore you too much with my lengthy post. :)

Tip for April 13, 2010; Sentences

Have you ever read a certain sentence where it just jumps out at you as amazing? I read one on Donita K. Paul's writing blog some time ago (click here to read it), and I just said, Wow, I want to read that book. Because of that sentence.

Sentences can be grammatically correct and still be wrong. There's a certain, different way of putting things that each writer has. Some do it this way, others that way. Sometimes, I can even recognize a writer's work simply by reading a bit of it.

Of course, there's the downside to it.

Earlier this week, I was editing my first novel, again. I was on the first chapter, the one right after the prologue. It started with, "Shad glared at Hysas, a stocky teenager."

I just didn't like something about that sentence. Earlier in the editing, I had put a chapter ahead of the one that had formerly been the first, and it started with that sentence. But something about it... Some-thing.

Anyway, I decided to replace it. I took it out, and tried to find a better way to put it. I succeeded, but in the process I messed up the paragraph. So I fixed that, which unfailingly messed up the entire chapter. So I fixed that... and then I found a similar situation later on with a story being told in an inn. So I also replaced that entire lot.

But in the end, it was for the better. I now have a better and clearer sentence in replacement of the old one. But it might need a little more editing, too. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Review; The Word Reclaimed

I've been wanting to read this book for quite a while. Yesterday afternoon, I decided to take a look at it on Amazon, and then I flew into a 'bookish' excitement. The book, The Word Reclaimed, was available on Kindle, (I am lucky enough to own one) for 99 cents. Unbelieveable. I couldn't believe my eyes. I rushed into my bedroom, got out an envelope labeled "Emergency Book Fund" (which are quite useful), and took out a dollar, giving it to my mom, since my Kindle account is on her Amazon account.

I bought the book immediately, and I started reading shortly after supper; this the result.

In the far future, the civilized worlds have finally been freed of the curse of religion. Tolerance now rules the five colonies. Thanks to the secret police, no one has been bothered by so much as a hymn in two generations-much less a Torah, Koran, or that most dangerous of books, a Bible.

Baden is a teenager with an attitude. He spends his spare time salvaging wrecks in deep space, claiming for himself whatever the pirates leave behind. One day, Baden finds a book. A strange and very old book, preserved carefully against the ravages of deep space. Thinking he'll become rich if only for the value of the paper, he takes it. He counts himself lucky beyond all imagining. Until it begins talking to him. Amidst an interstellar war that threatens to overthrow the monarchy and drive great families to oblivion, Baden must evade the secret police and their attempts to get that book. Baden never had much use for religion. But it seems one has use of him. (Book Description taken from

Wow. This book was awesome. I just finished it less than an hour ago, and the first thing on my mind was, 'I have to tell people about this'. I first tried my sister, but she was wrapped up in The Final Storm by Wayne Thomas Batson, and she was unwilling to do anything else.

I have read pretty much three Christian sci-fi series; C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, Chris Walley's Lamb Among the Stars series, and this. I think that this book is an equal to the Space Trilogy, and although I am very loyal to the Lamb Among the Stars series, this book comes close. I mean, take a look at the awesome cover art! Cover art isn't everything, but a good cover certainly helps.

Steve Rzasa weaves a spellbinding tale with this book, one that grabs you and refuses to let go. This is the first book in the Face of the Deep series.

A plot against a king, a space battle, a race against time... and a Book reclaimed. Amazing. Rated 9.3 out of 10. I use decimals when it's close to ten. :)

I can't wait to buy the next book, which I just discovered was published only a couple days ago. Time to visit the Emergency Book Fund again. I'll post a review after I get enough money, buy it, and read it. I have like 5 books on my list, and 5 or 6 more on my preoder list to buy that the library doesn't have. My library doesn't get books until a year or so after they're published, which irks me. :) To quote Doctor Dolittle, "Money is a nuisance!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

I've been Tagged! Squeaks at Hidden Doorways.

What's tagging? If you get tagged, you can list eight of your favorite books that you'd like to live in for a week, and then go and tag eight other people.

Okay, here it goes (not necessarily in order of importance);

Number 1:
The Bones of Makaidos by Bryan Davis; I would love to meet all the characters, especially Sir Barlow. He is probably my favorite. And the last battle scene in this book is amazing.

Number 2:
Runt the Brave by Daniel Schwabauer; An amazing book. It's based on the David and Goliath story, but that doesn't take away the story at ALL. It's one of the books I call the 'little known modern classics'. It's a hit-you-over-the-head-"I-didn't-expect-such-a-good-book" book. I would love to see Runt defeat GoRec.

Number 3;
The Lamb Among the Stars Series by Chris Walley; I can't pick any of the books out as better than the other, so I'll just put it out as the series. These books rank somewhere on my top ten list of the best books I've read. Out of thousands. It's another of the little known modern classics. I would love to stand side by side with Merral and see the countless number of Krallen attack, and fight alongside him for the entire Assembly of the Worlds.

Number 4;
The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul; Wonderful, magical book. I love all the characters, especially Wizard Fenworth. It'd be a dream come true to actually talk with him... not that I'd get much of what he would be saying. :)

Number 5;
The Doctor Dolittle books by Hugh Lofting; Okay, don't start laughing. Seriously, who wouldn't want to talk to animals?

Number 6;
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; This is a great book, no matter how old it is. I'd love to meet Sherlock Holmes. He's just plain amazing.

Number 7;
The Tattooed Rats, by Jerry B. Jenkins; A Christian sci-fi book, about Patch, a persecuted Christian. These are also awesome books.

Number 8;
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; Yeah, I'd like ta take'a trip down da Mississippi...

And here's the people I've tagged (I'll keep updating them until I get to eight... or less, if I can't find enough);

-Pam (Mom) at Chapter 36
-Alex (Sister) at Behind the Lens
-Wayne Thomas Batson at Enter the Door Within (I still can't believe I was able to do that! :) )

White-Hot Deep Clean

White-hot deep clean. Or deep fry, if you don't like cleaning. Actually, I don't like cleaning, but it sounds more impressive that way.

What am I talking about? 'White-hot deep clean' is the phrase I coined for extreme editing, revising, and rewriting.

I plan to start on it soon. The way I do 'white-hot deep clean', varies, but mostly it is taking each chapter in my book and mercilessly cutting out unneeded phrases and scenes, adding a lot of description, enhancing the characters' individuality, and... Well, you get the general idea.

It's going to be painful, but I'm going to do it.

When I do white-hot deep cleaning, I'm going to take each individual sentence and go over it, wash it up, and make it cleaner. Once I do that to an entire chapter, I'm going to take each individual paragraph and deep clean it, making sure it makes perfect sense and flows together smoothly.

After all this is done, I'm going to read the chapter as a whole and make sure it flows together seamlessly, makes sense, and is descriptive. It will be a VERY effective way to make sure there are very few mistakes.

After I do this to every chapter, which may take quite a while, I'm going to read the entire book and make sure it all fits together. After that, I'm going to set it aside for a month, take it up, read it again, and it will hopefully be ready.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tip for April 7, 2010; Earning the End

"In the planning stage of a book, don't plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it." -Rose Tremain

This quote is true. I generally don't plan the ending, not only because I'm not that much of an outline person (I just launch in), but because all that goes before it effects what it will become. Of course, I have a vague idea of the ending, but most of the time I'm going on sudden ideas. And it works, most of the time.

Here's an example of what I mean;

So, say 'Jerry' goes on a quest to recover a treasure, in a book. The author has a very definite idea that Jerry will recover the treasure and everyone will all go home rich unharmed.

The plot unravels, and the author is left with a very poorly written, half-done novel.

However, the author tries again, this time just launching into it, thinking that he/she will find out if Jerry gets the treasure at the end. This novel gets published and successful.

Now, this example had nothing against planning. In fact, the novel will be all the better if you carefully plan and outline the beginning and middle. However, as the quote says, the ending has to be earned by all that goes before it.

What's your opinion on it?

Oh, and if any of my readers has any ideas on what I should post on, please comment or email me. I'm starting to run out of things to say.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tip for April 6, 2010; Description and Emotion

Sometimes, description heightens emotion in a reader.

Imagine, in this sample paragraph, that this is at the end of a novel;

As Jack glanced behind him, he saw the area had been badly burned. After a moment more, he and his companions strode on across the plain.

A terrible paragraph. It might be grammatically correct, but definitely not good for the ending of a book. As I said before, good description will add emotion. Here's a modified version of the paragraph;

As Jack glanced behind him, he saw the wide, blackened expanse where the forest had been. It had been completely incinerated. Finally, the black evil that had resided in this valley for centuries had been vanquished, not by a strike of lightning from the heavens, or by an army led by a king, but by a thirteen year old boy.

As all of this ran through Jack's mind, he marveled at the power and wisdom of the Maker. Truly, He used the weak to bring down the strong.

Better, yes? As you can see, the addition of description made the paragraph better and most likely would cause more emotion in a reader.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tip for April 2, 2010; Stamina

Everybody's heard of writer's block, eh?

Stamina, in writing, is plugging on despite writer's block.

Almost every interview that I have read where an author was asked for his or her tips to enterprising writers, he or she has said, 'Write, write, write.'

If you wait for a good time to write, a time where you feel inspired, there's almost no way you'll ever finish a novel.

I find that the longer I wait to write, the harder it becomes to write, and the less I feel like doing it. This is the downfall of a novel. I took two years to write my first novel, and only seven months or so to write my second. The difference? I wrote almost every day on my second novel, whether I felt like it or not.

(PS; I will not be blogging again until April 6th, as this is Easter Weekend)